FOR TOMMY: WARREN ELLIS REMIXED
FRISCH: Am I totally misunderstanding you, or are you
essentially looking for a way to do superheroes without doing
WARREN: I don't know. Maybe. I'm still kind of groping
blindly towards this myself, mate.
Grant tried, in NEWXMEN, but I don't think he swung it, he
was coming way too much out of Claremont.)
if you're being hired to do superhero comics, then the characters
should at least dress like it a bit. I could do UFF as a lesbian
romantic comedy in Park Slope with everyone dressed in Christopher
Street thrift-store chic or whatever, but I think I'd be asked
to rewrite it.
I'd have to kill myself.)
looking for what's Next. The gap between arch post-modernism
and the turd-hoarding of the reconstructionism.
fiction is a hybrid genre. It's two or three things stuck
together to make one genre (which is why some people find
it so hard to define beyond "I know it when I see it"), the
twilight zone between sf and crime fiction and a few other
things. Every now and then it starts to run out of steam.
Because so much is balanced on the genre economically, people
are paid to basically find ways to keep it going. So what
happens is, every ten years or whatever, something else is
stuck onto it. O'Neil and Skeates and a few others successfully
stuck politico-cultural relevance on to it. Claremont and
Wolfman successfully stuck soap-opera writing on to it. Moore
and Miller and Morrison successfully stuck the postmodernist
movement on to it. (Though the most successful postmodern-defined
author in English is probably Neil Gaiman, funnily enough.)
Etcetera. Superhero fiction eats other genres and movements
in order to keep going.
looking for something to next feed the beast with.
O: No disrespect to Quitely, but what about Emma's breasts?
they were large as her head (maybe bigger) on the cover of
Morrison's second or third issue of new x-men. nah...moot
WARREN: Meet Katie Price. Katie Price is a British model
who goes by the superhero name Jordan. Katie Price, like Emma
Frost, has had serious plastic surgery.
can clearly see in this image, her breasts are indeed bigger
than her head.
SKOULOUDIS: In this light, how do you see the deal between
Humanoids and DC? Do you think Humanoids will benefit from
WARREN: No, I think they're screwed.
HELMERICHS: Could you elaborate?
WARREN: Humanoids' biggest virtues are the excellence
of their format and their ability, like Western manga publishers,
to cherry-pick from a sizeable chunk of the European comics
library. Humanoids' biggest problem is marketing -- telling
people that the work is there, explaining the format, and
driving home that this is the best of the best. A secondary
concern, but one of a section of retailers' main concern,
is that Humanoids didn't offer as big a discount as Marvel,
DC, Dark Horse and Image.
handled by DC now means that Humanoids books are on a better
discount, which theoretically removes a hurdle towards better
sales to retailers. DC appear to be altering the Humanoids
format, shrinking it, which also theoretically removes another
retailer complaint -- amazingly, that they can't fit Humanoids
books on their shelves.
books are illustrated to be published in that large size.
Shrinking that kind of work really mitigates against a lot
of artists in the Humanoids line. I'm waiting to see how that
works out, but I do think it could work against them.
Patty Jeres does an excellent PR job for DC. But she has maybe
two or three people on her staff at most. And she has to push
what is now a pretty large array of imprints at DC. And, you
know, there's only so many days in the week. And Humanoids'
own PR has been pretty ineffectual so far. If you can't educate
people, retailers and readers, to what this stuff is and why
it's essential, then you may as well pack up and go home --
or cancel DECEMBER 32nd by Bilal when the American orders
don't justify the printing costs, whichever comes first. Patty
and her team are bound to take a good shot at it, but it's
a massive undertaking and she already has a bunch of other
imprints owned entirely by DC to service. DC aren't going
to be able to do for Humanoids that which needs to be done
to bring it into the light of day, and people like me are
going to be looking very hard at anything that diminishes
the presentation of the work.
Paul and Fabrice at Humanoids, and I want them to do well.
But I personally don't think this is going to work out for
STARR: Why did Jack Hawksmoor go from being a man that
would shed a tear about killing Rose Tattoo to being eager
to cause violence and death in The Authority?
WARREN: Because no-one liked the first version. And
the second version was funnier.
Nothing do to with him killing the Spirit of Murder or anything
M REYNARD: You won't let that one go, will you, Johnston?
RICH: Shut up. I'm right and I know I am. And Winter
MEHTA: Mr. Ellis, could you sell me on "American Splendor?"
WARREN: Possibly not.
let's try this: doomed cranky obsessive old bastard struggles
to make sense of/get through life while saddled with a dead-end
job, an appalling harridan of a wife and bouts of cancer.
Guests on Letterman several times and frequently shouts at
the audience to shut up. Adopts cute smart kid. Enters new
circle of depression hell now he's a father.
BROWN: I was talking to a mate of mine about this earlier
today jokingly. Recently at a Panel in Australia, Brian Michael
Bendis was talking about him selling the rights to Powers
to Sony (I think) and offered up a pretty amusing anecodote
about Sony trying to claim ownership of a certain familiar
character by the name of "Warren Ellis", with BMB having to
explain repeatedly that they couldn't actually own the rights
to "Warren Ellis". I kind of got a flash of Magical Truthsaying
Bastard Warren hitting TV screens everywhere.... How does
it feel to know that Sony wanted to TM you?
WARREN: Having dealt with some arms of Sony, I can
completely believe it...
After reading your Desolate Jones Badsignal this morning I
was wondering if you could tell us about the artist being
co-creator and how that works because you came up with the
story before the artist was selected.
WARREN: Jim Williams is going to completely create
the visual aspect of the work from my notes, which in many
cases are going to be sketchy at best, and this is going to
be the only job he does for as long as the book runs. It's
both the cost of doing business, and the respectful way to
act, to share overall copyright in the work with him.
Jim, it's only ever going to be half a job.
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| 9 Continued